Cops and Kids finds common ground in Carson City

Deputy Michael Jerauld of the Carson City Sheriff’s Office traffic division smiles with Liam Silva, 5, after placing him on a motorcycle during Saturday’s Cops and Kids event.

Deputy Michael Jerauld of the Carson City Sheriff’s Office traffic division smiles with Liam Silva, 5, after placing him on a motorcycle during Saturday’s Cops and Kids event.
Photo by Jessica Garcia.

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Deputy Michael Jerauld and his fellow officers within the Carson City Sheriff’s Office traffic division are masters at answering kids’ questions about more high-risk situations in kid-friendly ways.

“‘How fast do you get to go?’ is the most common, or ‘What is your top speed?’ and I always tell them, ‘We can’t say that out loud,’ ” he said. “(They ask), ‘Do you get into chases?’ ‘Do you get into crashes, what kind of crashes and have you done this or that?’ And most of the time, it’s ‘yes.’”

Jerauld said his team enjoys sharing the various aspects of their work with kids at an event like Saturday’s Cops and Kids at the sheriff’s office.

Families enjoyed hot dogs and giveaways Saturday while deputies welcomed the city’s young and curious to see how they operate daily with their gear, including their horses.

Sheriff Ken Furlong said the open house is for community members to meet the officers. Mayor Lori Bagwell, also in attendance, was grateful for the support from the businesses and nonprofits who came out to greet families.

“It’s a chance for them to see the facilities, meet the people, see how we get it done,” Furlong said.

Manuel and Jackie Silva, with their 5-year-old grandson Liam, attended last year’s Cops and Kids.

“The kids love it,” Manuel Silva said. “They love jumping all over the vehicles, and you get to see the police one on one.”

“They’re not scary,” Jackie Silva said. “They’re real people. … These events are great for kids.”

“I think it’s a perfect opportunity for our children to recognize that our officers are truly here to help,” Bagwell said. “We’re here in a common good space, and they can recognize that we have the greatest sheriff’s office here. It’s in a different setting. I get so excited when I see the little kids running up to a police officer and give them a high five.”

For years, the city and school district have partner to provide a school resource officer to establish with students early on the importance of safety, drug use and prevention and education.

“To me, it’s the jewel of the city when you have two governing bodies that agree on a common path and they work together to achieve something,” Furlong said. “That’s just a hit out of the park.”

Sgt. Matt Smith, demonstrating a department Polaris side-by-side vehicle used to travel in the region’s hills and rougher terrains, allowed young visitors to sit in its seats. Smith said the Polaris is used for educational purposes to teach new riders how to use proper safety equipment and bring water and snacks when making trips.

“It’s also when people get lost or stuck, we need to get up (in the terrain) before we can coordinate search and rescue, we’ll jump into this and locate them and coordinate as to what kind of medical resources are needed,” Smith said.

Within the past year, the vehicle hasn’t been used often, which is indicative of responsible outdoor use and area residents are “playing it safe,” he said, and that’s a positive sign. But the Polaris’ four-person, side-by-side features have enabled officers to make arrests where needed

“We’ve run into people who have warrants and we’ve made arrests,” he said. “This does have the capacity of bringing people in and bringing them back into the county in this to and from specific sites and put stuff in the back for medical aid.”

Other organizations attended Saturday’s event, with Western Nevada Safe Routes to School coordinator Scott Bohemier greeting families.

“Just talk to us,” Jerauld said of the CCSO. “We love to talk to anybody. We want to help break down those barriers that police are bad. We’re not. We’re here to be helpful.”


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